“There you go, I’m the greatest.” – Succinctly summing his achievements, Usain Bolt describes the status he has now acquired after completing the treble of 100metres, 200, and 4x100m Olympic gold for an unprecedented third time.
“I’ve had some great moments here, but also some tough losses. The win feels extra special because of the tough losses.” – Andy Murray, who went on to end the year as a double Olympic champion and world number one, reflects on his second Wimbledon success.
“I had to play at my best to get it over the finish line. I lost a dear friend on Wednesday morning in the United States from cancer and I feel like he has been with me all week, Mike this one is for you.” – An emotional Henrik Stenson savours victory after beating Phil Mickelson in a thrilling duel to win the Open at Royal Troon.
“Probably events like track and field, swimming, diving – the stuff that matters.” – Rory McIlroy, who had opted not to compete, shows his apathy towards the Olympic golf tournament when asked which events at Rio 2016 he was planning to watch.
“I can’t think of anything that surpasses it in sporting history. It is difficult to put over in words. I got emotional. It was hard to breathe.” – Former England striker Gary Lineker, who famously fulfilled a promise to present Match of the Day in his underpants, is choked after his beloved Leicester pull off a remarkable Premier League title success.
“There you go, I’m the greatest”
“I show you the cup and I don’t discuss it with my friends of the media, who already sacked me for six months. Which manager can do what I have done?” – Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal stands firm when asked about his future in the immediate aftermath of winning the FA Cup, but the end was nigh and he was soon replaced by Jose Mourinho.
“It shows I didn’t just fluke it in London. To do it again is incredible. I can’t believe it.” – Mo Farah joins the true greats of athletics as he completes a second successive 10,000m and 5,000m Olympic double in Rio.
“It’s been crazy. You can’t really describe the emotions and feelings. We all try to play good golf and someone has to win. Fortunately today it was my day.” – Yorkshireman Danny Willett reflects on his surprise success at the US Masters after a final-day collapse by Jordan Spieth.
“The best word I can say to describe this is: Boom!” – How Jurgen Klopp reacted to Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Man City… days after the Capital One Cup defeat to the same team.
“I was disappointed in what he wrote and it put a bit of a downer on my first Ryder Cup for the last couple of days. Obviously it’s been tarnished slightly.” – Masters champion Willett admits his frustration after his Ryder Cup debut was soured by controversy surrounding an article written by his bother Pete which referred to American fans as a “braying mob of imbeciles”, among other insults.
“It’s disappointing, obviously, but I think it’s good for golf. I think it keeps the Ryder Cup interesting going into France in a couple of years’ time.” – McIlroy reflects on Europe’s Ryder Cup defeat at Hazeltine by looking forward to revenge in 2018.
“You dream about nights like this and you’re not sure whether you’ll be good or lucky enough to be involved with an experience like that. It’s extremely pleasing and we’re enjoying every minute of it.” – Manager Chris Coleman celebrates after Wales each the semi-finals of Euro 2016 with a stunning victory over Belgium.
“I’m extremely disappointed, of course, about tonight’s result and ultimately our exit from the competition. We haven’t progressed as far as I thought we were capable of, and that’s obviously not acceptable.” – After a result some pundits described as the worst in the country’s history, England manager Roy Hodgson calmly steps down after an embarrassing exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland.
“I recognise I made some comments which have caused embarrassment.” – Sam Allardyce’s England reign proves short as he accepts the consequences after being covertly filmed making controversial comments during a newspaper investigation.
“It’s like the first time, it’s amazing. Every time it’s special. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling. It feels like a privilege to be in this position.” – Chris Froome enjoys his third Tour de France victory.
“If he keeps his focus, manages the years in between and stays injury-free, he could go on for two, three more Olympic Games. He could be Britain’s Michael Phelps.” – Sir Chris Hoy expects to be surpassed after Jason Kenny equalled his haul of six Olympic gold medals by winning three in Rio.
“I’ve completely outdone myself.” – Max Whitlock is taken aback by his own success after winning two Olympic gold medals in one day with victory in the men’s floor and pommel horse in Rio.
“Tanni’s always going to be on the top of my pedestal. She’s always been an incredible supporter and mentor. To think I’m above in her in everyone else’s books is just surreal.” – Dame Sarah Storey still ranks Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson’s achievements above her own despite eclipsing her record at Rio 2016 to become Britain’s most successful Paralympian with 14 gold medals.
“It’s certainly driven me personally. To score 10,000 runs was one of those goals.” – England captain Alastair Cook acknowledges a career landmark after being the youngest player, the 12th overall and the first Englishman to reach 10,000 Test runs.
“I’ve got to take my hat off to Alex Hales. He played the world’s worst one-day innings by an opener at Lord’s three days ago, but he came out and played an incredible knock.” – Former England player Graeme Swann gives credit where it is due, hailing Alex Hales after a superb 171 helps the country to a world-record 444 for three in their one-day international against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
“I’ve been racing him forever and he’s always just managed to edge me out and get the title – even when we were small in go-karts. He’s just an amazing driver and of course one of the best in history, so it’s unbelievably special to beat him.” – Showing sentiments that were not necessarily reciprocated, new Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg pays tribute to team-mate and rival Lewis Hamilton after pipping him to the world title.
“I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right.” – Just days after his world title success, Rosberg stuns F1 by announcing his retirement.
“That’s the most important tackle in any game I’ve ever been involved in.” – Hull coach Lee Radford is full of praise for Danny Houghton after a sensational last-gasp tackle on Warrington’s Ben Currie ensured his side finally won a Challenge Cup final at Wembley at the ninth attempt.
“The world-record player is always a question that will be open until somebody breaks the record. I just want Paul to forget that and to play his football.” – New United boss Mourinho tries to play down the hype surrounding Paul Pogba after his world record £89million move back to Old Trafford.
“I am like this. I don’t know if this is a good thing, but I have a great passion for football, for my team, for my work during the game… I have great passion and I want to transfer my passion to my players and also my fans. I suffer during the game and I want my players to see this and also the fans because we work very hard during the week to reach our target, our victory.” – Antonio Conte on his touchline antics at his first Chelsea press conference.
“The great thing is the best is ahead of us. We’re only going to get better.” – Having turned the team around following an abject World Cup campaign, England coach Eddie Jones hails his side after winning the country’s first grand slam for 13 years.
“Before we finish, I tell you that I’ve talked with the club and I’ll finish my contract on the original date in June.” – Defying his reputation for saying little of note, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini dramatically ends a press conference by announcing he is leaving the club to make way for Pep Guardiola.
“Well, he doesn’t learn. Stokes is a nervous laddie, so what I told Brathwaite was to just hold his pose and he’s going to bowl a couple of full tosses – as always – and it will work in our favour.” – Marlon Samuels, with his feet on the table at a press conference, fans the flames of his rivalry with Ben Stokes after Carlos Brathwaite hit the England all-rounder for four sixes in the final over to win the World T20 final.
“We got pulled over in our taxi and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down’.” – Sparking a scandal at the Olympics in Rio, American swimmer Ryan Lochte falsely claims he was robbed at gunpoint after a night out. He later admitted he “over-exaggerated that story” after it unravelled following police investigation.
“I haven’t seen anything like it before but it’s Brazil and everything is green down here, so maybe it was a decoration to make it look pretty.” – Mexican competitor Paola Espinosa gives her opinion on why the Olympic diving pool turned an odd shade of green.